Blue Caprice (2013)

Isaiah Washington in Blue Caprice

I can remember the Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, but the memories are vague. It’s perhaps harsh, but it seems that every few months there’s yet another senseless mass shooting in America. Of course, these shootings were different – no apparent motive, without obvious culrpits, the sense of all-pervading fear they must have created is chillingly easy to understand.

Blue Caprice dramatizes the Beltway attacks, but isn’t interested in creating a thriller, nor creating that sense of fear. The murders occur off-camera, and the focus is on the murderers themselves. Isaiah Washington plays a father estranged from his children; his lean athletic form and commanding presence barely disguise a dark propensity for violence.  Equally impressive is Tequan Richmond as a quiet young boy who falls under Washington’s spell; he speaks rarely, demonstrating an unsettling disconnect in social situations.

The film watches these men from a distance as though through a telescopic scope; it refuses to venture too close, which is perhaps for the best. Blue Caprice may not capture the panic associated with these shootings, but it captures the essence of such men; men who could enact such terror with discomfiting plausibility. The events no longer seem like “just another shooting.”

Rating: 127/200

8 thoughts on “Blue Caprice (2013)

  1. Good review. You liked this one a little more than me, but that’s understandable. I wonder if I would’ve appreciated it more if I hadn’t lived in the area during these attacks…

    • Yeah, it definitely was a film that had an impact on me rather than a film I liked necessarily (I did check your review after writing this and was surprised that you disliked it so much). Perhaps if I’d experienced the effect of the attacks first-hand it would have been less effective, but having only heard about them from a great distance it gave them a sense of reality. I do think that the two actors did an excellent job in roles that didn’t really give them anything “showy” to demonstrate their chops.

      • Honestly, it’s the fact that I did experience these attacks with a bit more proximity and fear that causes me to … Consider this as good as I do. (Hard to say you actually like any movie about really evil people, right?) This film actually makes me care about people who viscerally terrorized the country in which I live, and I consider that a real accomplishment. Even if not a comforting one.

      • I didn’t sympathise too much with the killers in this film, but they definitely came across as real, damaged people rather than inexplicable villains, which was an achievement in itself. I don’t know if I’d be keen to watch the film again, but it definitely had an effect on me. Thanks for the comment!

      • Sympathy would be the wrong word, I think. Especially for Muhammed. Even in Blue Caprice, he’s a psychopath, albeit a charismatic one.

        As to Malvo … I didn’t really sympathize with him either, and I certainly don’t regret that he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison, but I do lament what Muhammed did to him.

        Unlike with The Iceman, I do care. Not so much about the men, but about the events portrayed in Blue Caprice. Some at least. That is a pretty tremendous accomplishment for a movie about people whom I am predisposed to hate, even after ten years have past.

      • That makes sense. It’s certainly a film that makes you care, even if it doesn’t quite extend to sympathy.

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